The Fantasy Footballers’ Starts of the Week for Week 4
As we approach the quarter mark of the fantasy season, it is time to recognize that the trends happening in the NFL so far may not be flukes. The players you drafted to be great and who aren’t delivering might not be the solution for your roster this year. That means you need to look at players you doubted who are performing well and start making the hard decisions for your roster. Especially if the season has begun rocky for you, it is time to make some difficult decisions to get some wins. The good news is that The Fantasy Footballers are here to help you make those choices and come face-to-face with what you need in your lineup this week. Below is a breakdown of Andy, Mike, and Jason’s Starts of the Week for Week 4. If you want to check out the entire episode on YouTube, check the link below.
If you are desperate for more help, our new in-season app is always available. It is free to download, and the Start/Sit tool is invaluable this time of year. Also, join our fantasy football community at jointhefoot.com and The Fantasy Footballers Discord to connect with other #Footclan members. Now, without further ado, The Fantasy Footballers Starts of the Week!
Andy’s Starts of the Week
QB – Russell Wilson vs. CHI
Let’s get nuts! The truth is that even though the Broncos have been bad, Russ has been fine for fantasy. He is the QB9 on the season and ranks third in completion percentage over expectation. The Bears’ defense is terrible. Chicago ranks 31st in yards per attempt, 31st in expected points per pass attempt, and 28th in fantasy points allowed to QBs. Again, Russell Wilson has not been that bad this year. He is sixth in yards per attempt and sixth in QBR, tied with Mahomes. If you are in a two-QB league, he can be an asset this week and should be a top-12 player at the position. Get him in your lineup this week.
RB – James Cook vs. MIA
James Cook is the most unheralded star of the season at the running back position through three weeks. He is averaging 6.1 yards per carry on the year, with 19 opportunities leading to an average of 111 total yards per game. He is the RB14 on the season and has yet to score a touchdown. This game has the highest over/under of the week. Despite the beatdown Miami put up last week, they have allowed a first down on 34% of their opponents’ rushing attempts. That is dead last in the NFL. There is too much to have to try and stop with Buffalo to make James Cook a focus of the defense. That is great for Cook, who can be an RB1 with this week’s matchup.
WR – Adam Thielen vs. MIN
You cannot ignore volume. Thielen has had 23 targets in the last two weeks, for 18 receptions, 199 yards, and two touchdowns. He is currently the WR9 on the season. There is no other option, and Thielen is getting open all over the field. Bryce Young has also missed Thielen a few times, which could have made him an even better fantasy receiver. Now he faces Minnesota, which is his former team, where he also went to college. The fan base loves him. He will be amped for this game. The good news is that the Vikings are allowing a 76% completion rate, and are 30th in schedule adjusted fantasy points to WRs. The Vikings are going to give up plenty of points, and they are going to score some points as well. The Panthers must keep up with Minnesota, which won’t happen without Thielen.
TE – Luke Musgrave vs. DET
The kinds of downfield targets Musgrave is seeing are what make for great fantasy performances. His aDOT is 10.6, which is the second highest among all TEs. The only reason he hasn’t been a breakout player already is that Jordan Love has missed him on those deep balls. The Lions rank 31st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points for the TE position. Last week, the Falcons TEs saw 50% of the team’s targets and combined for 17. Look for Green Bay to get Luke Musgrave involved early and often against Detroit.
Jason’s Starts of the Week
QB – Daniel Jones vs. SEA
There is a good chance Jones is on the waiver wire after last week’s stinkfest against San Francisco. He is back on Primetime Monday night, but now he is at home, as a slight favorite in the third highest over/under of the the week. The best part is that instead of the 49ers’ defense, he now faces Seattle, who just made Andy Dalton look like a superstar. The Seahawks rank 28th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points to QBs and 30th in expected points per pass attempt. Jones is a boom/bust player; he can stink like in Weeks 1 and 3 of the season or be the QB1 like in Week 2. It is all about the matchup and this week is good for Jones.
RB – James Conner vs. SF
Jason wants to give you confidence to play a guy who is in a terrible matchup. The 49ers have been shutting down everyone this season, and old man James Conner could seem like an option to bench this week, but you shouldn’t do that. This pick is not a belief in the Cardinals’ ability to be competitive in the game, this is from the history of Conner being a bit matchup-proof. He is averaging 19.7 opportunities per game, and that is enough to keep him in your lineup every week. Last year he finished as the RB20, RB5, RB14, RB6, RB4, RB12, RB5, and RB15. Those are all finishes you would be thrilled to have in your lineup and most of those occurred in losses last year. Whether the team is winning or losing, it doesn’t matter because Conner will get opportunities and finish in the top 24. He has done it every week this season, so don’t doubt him, keep it rolling!
WR – Gabe Davis vs. MIA
Jason wants pieces of this game, and Gabe the Babe has been solid this year. He caught a touchdown in back-to-back weeks. He typically shows up in big games, and this is a big one. The matchup with the Dolphins has the highest over/under on the week with 54 total points. Josh Allen is completing a career-high 73% of his passes. One of the reasons for this is Gabe having a career-high 60% catch rate. This kind of dependability is what everyone hoped for last year, and now the hope will be that it continues in this matchup.
TE – Sam LaPorta vs. GB
Jason has always told you that the key to fantasy success is drafting rookie TEs. LaPorta has become a must-start already. He is the TE2 on the season. He has the most receptions for any rookie TE ever through three weeks. His 37% target share last week ranks as the third-highest ever in a game by a rookie TE. He is already a trustworthy target for Jared Goff despite his rookie status. So, stay in the flames with LaPorta.
Mike’s Starts of the Week
QB – Brock Purdy vs. AZ
There could be injury concern for the 49ers this week, but Mike says you should still start Purdy. The 49ers have the highest team-implied point total on the week at 29 points. Purdy has been a two-TD scoring machine since becoming the starter, reaching that feat in seven out of his eight starts. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are dead last in the NFL in schedule-adjusted fantasy points to the QB position through three weeks. The 49ers have so many pass-catching weapons that if at least two are healthy, Purdy should be a good play against Arizona.
RB – Javonte Williams vs. CHI
It has not been a great start for Javonte this season. The Broncos have been bad, but his role for the team is clear. He is averaging an opportunity on 57% of his snaps. That is third among all RBs in the NFL. Williams is seeing a target on every 14 snaps, which is fourth among RBs. Plus, he is another RB who hasn’t yet found the end zone yet. Now he gets to face The Bears, who rank 31st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points to running backs and 31st in rush attempts allowed. The Bears are an excellent matchup for Javonte to finally get it going and maybe even score for the first time this season.
WR – Jakobi Meyers vs. LAC
The targets for the Raiders are going to two different players, Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers. In the two weeks Meyers has played, he has been crushing fantasy points. In Week 1, he had 10 targets with nine receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns. Then, in Week 3, he had 12 targets for seven receptions and 85 yards. While Adams has been seeing a 40% target share, Meyers’s target share is 31%. That is some severe funneling of targets. Now he faces the Chargers, who rank 31st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points for the WR position. That is a good recipe for fantasy production.
TE – Evan Engram vs. ATL
Engram has been Steady Eddie so far this season. He is third in TE targets, receptions, and receiving yards. That has made him the TE5 on the season, and he still hasn’t caught a touchdown. Meanwhile, the Falcons were LaPorta-ed last week and rank 30th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points to the TE. Engram should be a solid start every week and could be even better this week in London.